Dennis Orcollo Wins US Open 8-Ball Championship

Dennis Orcollo
©JP Parmentier - CSI
The final day at the US Open 8-Ball Championship started out with more of a whimper than a bang, as Shane Van Boening misread the tournament chart and ended up forfeiting his 10am match against Rafael Martinez. Shane ended up settling for $2250 in prize money, and Rafael got to enjoy a stress free morning.
Noon brought Dennis Orcollo and John Morra to the table to compete in the other 5/6 match on the one loss side. This match got off to a slow start for Orcollo, as he scratched on the break in game one and then couldn't get out when Morra missed a shot in game two. Morra kept the lead until rack 8 when he scratched on the break and Orcollo was able to pull back into a tie at 4-4. Things stayed "on serve" after that, with the players trading table runs until rack sixteen when Morra left himself hooked on a ball mid-run and left Dennis with a chance to win on John's break. Orcollo maneuvered his way through the rack and scored the 9-7 win.
Orcollo was right back in action at 2:00; facing a rested and relaxed Rafael Martinez. Dennis took a quick 2-0 lead, but Rafael fought back and tied things at 2-2. Rack 10 saw Orcollo regain his two rack lead at 6-4 when Rafael broke dry, and then Orcollo extended that lead to 8-4 after a table run and then another dry break by Rafael that lead to another table run for Orcollo. Breaking for the match, Orcollo jumped his cue ball of the table and watched Rafael run out that rack and then the next to draw back to 8-6. Orcollo broke for the match again in rack fifteen, but left the 8-ball hanging in the pocket and was forced to take on an off angle bank to try to remove his ball from the proximity of the 8-ball's locked up pocket. The bank missed and Rafael ran out to get back to within one rack at 8-7. Martinez made a ball on his final break, but missed a tricky carom on his first shot and there was nothing he could do but sit and watch Orcollo run the case rack for the 9-7 win.
The next round shifted back to the winner's side, where Rodney Morris took on Mike Dechaine for the hot-seat. Morris broke a 3-3 tie in this match with table runs in three straight racks (thanks to a Dechaine scratch in rack eight) and held a comfortable 6-3 lead. Dechaine got it back to 7-6 down and was watching Morris run out a rack when Morris uncharacteristically jawed an 8-ball. Dechaine was more than happy to take advantage of the second chance and run out the rack to tie things again at 7-7. The two players exchanged table runs and the match was tied at hill-hill, much to the crowd's delight. Rodney had the break in the final game, and made a ball on the break, but couldn't successfully complete the run. A tough shot came up short for Morris and Dechaine smoothly ran out the final rack for the 9-8 win.
Rodney Morris had started his quest for the title with a lopsided 9-0 victory in round one. In his semi-final match against Dennis Orcollo, Morris learned what the other side of a blowout feels like. Two dry breaks by Morris led to Orcollo table runs. Orcollo had no such problems as he broke and ran in his first two breaks. Morris did bring the crowd to their feet in rack five when he ended a table run with back to back table length kick shots. Morris wouldn't be able to gather any momentum with that rack though, as he would not make a ball on the break again and Orcollo would run out every opportunity he got at the table.
The final match saw Mike Dechaine take early control with four straight wins and a 4-0 lead. Just as quick as he took the lead, he then gave it back as Orcollo won four straight games to knot the scoreline at 4-4. The two players alternated table runs over the next six racks and the score was tied at 7-7 when Dechaine was able to win a rack on Orcollo's break. Dechaine then broke and ran on his own break and held a 9-7 lead in the race to 11. Orcollo would break and run in rack seventeen, but Dechaine still held a one rack lead and only had to win on his break to win the event. Rack eighteen would be a turning point as Dechaine scratched early in a run-out attempt and Orcollo tied things back up at 9-9. A break and run in rack nineteen put Orcollo on the hill and a dry break by Dechaine in rack 20 was the end of his hopes as Orcollo ran out for the 11-9 win. 
Orcollo earned $11,000 for first place, while Dechaine settled for $7,000. Day three was a testament to Orcollo's drive to win as he went from struggling with his break on day two to a dominating break on day three. He put in the time early, honing a second ball break that led to successful table runs in eleven of his last fifteen games. 
As the US Open 8-Ball Championship is a Mosconi Cup points event, Dechaine made serious strides to earn a place on the team with his second place finish. All eyes will be on Dechaine in the last two Mosconi Cup events (Turning Stone Classic XXIV and the US Open 9-Ball Championship).